John D Ash

John D Ash,

Eminent Scholar

Department: MD-OPHTHALMOLOGY-GENERAL
Business Phone: (352) 273-8328
Business Email: jash@ufl.edu

About John D Ash

Dr. Ash is the Francis M. Bullard Eminent Scholar Chair in Ophthalmic Sciences, and is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, at the University of Florida.

Dr. Ash received his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University Biochemistry Program in 1994 and completed postdoctoral training in the Cell Biology Department at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, Texas, and began his faculty career at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma. Dr. Ash is also a Visiting Professor at the Dalian Medical University, Dalian China. Dr. Ash has written and published 60 manuscripts including research articles, book chapters and invited reviews, and has edited four books. Dr. Ash’s research is focused on mechanisms of retinal degeneration and neuroprotection, with a focus on degeneration of photoreceptors and the RPE. This work also has a strong translational component and has led to the creation of two new neuroprotective drugs and the identification of 3 novel pathways to induce neuroprotection pharmacologically. Dr. Ash’s work has led to intellectual disclosure filings, and the filing of one U.S. Patent Application. He is currently an Executive editor for Experimental Eye research and a Scientific Review Editor for Molecular Vision. Dr. Ash is an active reviewer for these journals as well as Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. In 2009, Dr. Ash received a research award from Hope for Vision, and in 2010 he received a Lew R. Wasserman Merit award from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc. Dr. Ash has received grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., Hope for Vision, and the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Ash has served on the Program and Advocacy committees of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Dr. Ash has served on the scientific review panel for Fight For Sight (2005-2008) and is currently serving on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Foundation Fighting Blindness (Columbia, MD) where he chairs the review committee on Novel Medical Therapies Program. He also serves on the scientific review panel for the Macular Degeneration program of the BrightFocus Foundation (formerly the American Health Assistance Foundation, Clarksburg, MD).

Accomplishments

President
2019-current · International Symposium on Retinal Degeneration
Term Professorship
2018 · University of Florida
Silver Fellow of ARVO
2015 · Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Francis M. Bullard Eminent Scholar Chair in Ophthalmic Sciences
2012-current · University of Florida
Lew Wasserman Merit Award
2010 · Research to Prevent Blindness
Organizing committee permanent member
2008-current · International Symposium on Retinal Degeneration

Research Profile

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)

0000-0002-8330-7301

Publications

2021
Mitochondria: The Retina’s Achilles’ Heel in AMD.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 1256:237-264 [DOI] 10.1007/978-3-030-66014-7_10. [PMID] 33848005.
2020
Clarin-1 expression in adult mouse and human retina highlights a role of Müller glia in Usher syndrome.
The Journal of pathology. 250(2):195-204 [DOI] 10.1002/path.5360. [PMID] 31625146.
2020
Gene regulatory networks controlling vertebrate retinal regeneration
Science. 370(6519) [DOI] 10.1126/science.abb8598. [PMID] 33004674.
2020
Retinal homeostasis and metformin-induced protection are not affected by retina-specific Pparδ knockout
Redox Biology. 37 [DOI] 10.1016/j.redox.2020.101700. [PMID] 32863184.
2019
AMPK May Play an Important Role in the Retinal Metabolic Ecosystem.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 1185:477-481 [DOI] 10.1007/978-3-030-27378-1_78. [PMID] 31884657.
2019
Correction to: Retinal Degenerative Diseases.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 1185 [DOI] 10.1007/978-3-030-27378-1_95. [PMID] 32274704.
2019
Disrupted Blood-Retina Lysophosphatidylcholine Transport Impairs Photoreceptor Health But Not Visual Signal Transduction
The Journal of Neuroscience. 39(49):9689-9701 [DOI] 10.1523/jneurosci.1142-19.2019.
2019
Mitochondrial oxidative stress in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) led to metabolic dysfunction in both the RPE and retinal photoreceptors.
Redox biology. 24 [DOI] 10.1016/j.redox.2019.101201. [PMID] 31039480.
2019
The Common Antidiabetic Drug Metformin Reduces Odds of Developing Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 60(5):1470-1477 [DOI] 10.1167/iovs.18-26422. [PMID] 30973575.
2018
A Drug-Tunable Gene Therapy for Broad-Spectrum Protection against Retinal Degeneration.
Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy. 26(10):2407-2417 [DOI] 10.1016/j.ymthe.2018.07.016. [PMID] 30078764.
2018
Damage-associated molecular pattern recognition is required for induction of retinal neuroprotective pathways in a sex-dependent manner
Scientific Reports. 8(1) [DOI] 10.1038/s41598-018-27479-x. [PMID] 29904087.
2018
Inherited Retinal Degenerations: Current Landscape and Knowledge Gaps.
Translational vision science & technology. 7(4) [DOI] 10.1167/tvst.7.4.6. [PMID] 30034950.
2018
Mitochondria: Potential Targets for Protection in Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 1074:11-17 [DOI] 10.1007/978-3-319-75402-4_2. [PMID] 29721922.
2018
Müller Cell Biological Processes Associated with Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Expression.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 1074:479-484 [DOI] 10.1007/978-3-319-75402-4_59. [PMID] 29721979.
2018
Neuroinflammation in Retinitis Pigmentosa, Diabetic Retinopathy, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Minireview.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 1074:185-191 [DOI] 10.1007/978-3-319-75402-4_23. [PMID] 29721943.
2018
Stimulation of AMPK prevents degeneration of photoreceptors and the retinal pigment epithelium
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 115(41):10475-10480 [DOI] 10.1073/pnas.1802724115. [PMID] 30249643.
2016
Retinal Caveolin-1 Modulates Neuroprotective Signaling.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 854:411-8 [DOI] 10.1007/978-3-319-17121-0_54. [PMID] 26427439.
2016
Targeting the Nrf2 Signaling Pathway in the Retina With a Gene-Delivered Secretable and Cell-Penetrating Peptide.
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 57(2):372-86 [DOI] 10.1167/iovs.15-17703. [PMID] 26842755.
2016
The Potential Use of PGC-1α and PGC-1β to Protect the Retina by Stimulating Mitochondrial Repair.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 854:403-9 [DOI] 10.1007/978-3-319-17121-0_53. [PMID] 26427438.
2016
The Role of AMPK Pathway in Neuroprotection.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 854:425-30 [DOI] 10.1007/978-3-319-17121-0_56. [PMID] 26427441.
2014
Investigating the role of retinal Müller cells with approaches in genetics and cell biology.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 801:401-5 [DOI] 10.1007/978-1-4614-3209-8_51. [PMID] 24664724.
2014
Very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and rod cell structure and function.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 801:637-45 [DOI] 10.1007/978-1-4614-3209-8_80. [PMID] 24664753.
2013
Long-term type 1 diabetes influences haematopoietic stem cells by reducing vascular repair potential and increasing inflammatory monocyte generation in a murine model.
Diabetologia. 56(3):644-53 [DOI] 10.1007/s00125-012-2781-0. [PMID] 23192694.
2012
A unique loop structure in oncostatin M determines binding affinity toward oncostatin M receptor and leukemia inhibitory factor receptor.
The Journal of biological chemistry. 287(39):32848-59 [PMID] 22829597.
View on: PubMed
2012
Leukemia inhibitory factor coordinates the down-regulation of the visual cycle in the retina and retinal-pigmented epithelium.
The Journal of biological chemistry. 287(29):24092-102 [DOI] 10.1074/jbc.M112.378240. [PMID] 22645143.
2012
Loss of caveolin-1 impairs retinal function due to disturbance of subretinal microenvironment.
The Journal of biological chemistry. 287(20):16424-34 [DOI] 10.1074/jbc.M112.353763. [PMID] 22451674.
2011
The effects of D-penicillamine on a murine model of oxygen-induced retinopathy.
Journal of AAPOS : the official publication of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. 15(4):370-3 [DOI] 10.1016/j.jaapos.2011.04.005. [PMID] 21907121.
2010
CD4 T-cell suppression by cells from Toxoplasma gondii-infected retinas is mediated by surface protein PD-L1.
Infection and immunity. 78(8):3484-92 [DOI] 10.1128/IAI.00117-10. [PMID] 20498261.
2010
gp130 activation in Müller cells is not essential for photoreceptor protection from light damage.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 664:655-61 [DOI] 10.1007/978-1-4419-1399-9_75. [PMID] 20238070.
2010
Induction of corneal myofibroblasts by lens-derived transforming growth factor beta1 (TGFbeta1): a transgenic mouse model.
Brain research bulletin. 81(2-3):287-96 [DOI] 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2009.10.019. [PMID] 19897021.
2010
Tgfbeta signaling directly induces Arf promoter remodeling by a mechanism involving Smads 2/3 and p38 MAPK.
The Journal of biological chemistry. 285(46):35654-64 [DOI] 10.1074/jbc.M110.128959. [PMID] 20826783.
2010
Unexpected transcriptional activity of the human VMD2 promoter in retinal development.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 664:211-6 [DOI] 10.1007/978-1-4419-1399-9_24. [PMID] 20238019.
2009
Expression of Cre recombinase in retinal Müller cells.
Vision research. 49(6):615-21 [DOI] 10.1016/j.visres.2009.01.012. [PMID] 19948109.
2009
Preconditioning-induced protection from oxidative injury is mediated by leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR) and its ligands in the retina.
Neurobiology of disease. 34(3):535-44 [DOI] 10.1016/j.nbd.2009.03.012. [PMID] 19344761.
2009
Preconditioning-induced protection of photoreceptors requires activation of the signal-transducing receptor gp130 in photoreceptors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106(50):21389-94 [DOI] 10.1073/pnas.0906156106. [PMID] 19948961.
2008
An increase in herpes simplex virus type 1 in the anterior segment of the eye is linked to a deficiency in NK cell infiltration in mice deficient in CXCR3.
Journal of interferon & cytokine research : the official journal of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research. 28(4):245-51 [DOI] 10.1089/jir.2007.0110. [PMID] 18439102.
2008
Chemical sympathectomy increases susceptibility to ocular herpes simplex virus type 1 infection.
Journal of neuroimmunology. 197(1):37-46 [DOI] 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2008.03.011. [PMID] 18495255.
2008
STAT3 activation in photoreceptors by leukemia inhibitory factor is associated with protection from light damage.
Journal of neurochemistry. 105(3):784-96 [PMID] 18088375.
View on: PubMed
2008
Sustained delivery of NT-3 from lens fiber cells in transgenic mice reveals specificity of neuroprotection in retinal degenerations.
The Journal of comparative neurology. 511(6):724-35 [DOI] 10.1002/cne.21858. [PMID] 18925574.
2006
Abnormal immune response of CCR5-deficient mice to ocular infection with herpes simplex virus type 1.
The Journal of general virology. 87(Pt 3):489-499 [DOI] 10.1099/vir.0.81339-0. [PMID] 16476970.
2006
Conditional gene knockout system in cone photoreceptors.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 572:173-8 [PMID] 17249572.
View on: PubMed
2006
Deletion of smooth muscle alpha-actin alters blood-retina barrier permeability and retinal function.
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 47(6):2693-700 [PMID] 16723488.
View on: PubMed
2006
Mouse opsin promoter-directed Cre recombinase expression in transgenic mice.
Molecular vision. 12:389-98 [PMID] 16636658.
View on: PubMed
2006
Proteomic trajectory mapping of biological transformation: Application to developmental mouse retina.
Proteomics. 6(11):3251-61 [PMID] 16673440.
View on: PubMed
2006
Transgenic expression of leukemia inhibitory factor inhibits both rod and cone gene expression. Gp130 regulates cone gene expression.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 572:147-53 [PMID] 17249568.
View on: PubMed
2005
Chemokine receptor deficiency is associated with increased chemokine expression in the peripheral and central nervous systems and increased resistance to herpetic encephalitis.
Journal of neuroimmunology. 162(1-2):51-9 [PMID] 15833359.
View on: PubMed
2005
Leukemia inhibitory factor blocks expression of Crx and Nrl transcription factors to inhibit photoreceptor differentiation.
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 46(7):2601-10 [PMID] 15980254.
View on: PubMed
2005
Leukemia inhibitory factor inhibits neuronal development and disrupts synaptic organization in the mouse retina.
Journal of neuroscience research. 82(3):316-32 [PMID] 16206277.
View on: PubMed
2005
Transgenic expression of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) blocks normal vascular development but not pathological neovascularization in the eye.
Molecular vision. 11:298-308 [PMID] 15889014.
View on: PubMed
2004
Consequences of CXCL10 and IL-6 induction by the murine IFN-alpha1 transgene in ocular herpes simplex virus type 1 infection.
Immunologic research. 30(2):191-200 [PMID] 15477660.
View on: PubMed
2004
Downregulation of ATP synthase subunit-6, cytochrome c oxidase-III, and NADH dehydrogenase-3 by bright cyclic light in the rat retina.
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 45(8):2489-96 [PMID] 15277468.
View on: PubMed
2004
Targeted expression of Cre recombinase to cone photoreceptors in transgenic mice.
Molecular vision. 10:1011-8 [PMID] 15635292.
View on: PubMed
2004
Visualization of lymphatic vessels through NF-kappaB activity.
Blood. 104(10):3228-30 [PMID] 15271802.
View on: PubMed
2003
Effect of anti-CXCL10 monoclonal antibody on herpes simplex virus type 1 keratitis and retinal infection.
Journal of virology. 77(18):10037-46 [PMID] 12941914.
View on: PubMed
2003
Regulation of retinal phosphoinositide 3-kinase activity in p85alpha-subunit knockout mice.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 533:369-76 [PMID] 15180287.
View on: PubMed
2002
In vivo regulation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase in retina through light-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor beta-subunit.
The Journal of biological chemistry. 277(45):43319-26 [PMID] 12213821.
View on: PubMed
2002
Inhibition of crystallin expression and induction of apoptosis by lens-specific E1A expression in transgenic mice.
Oncogene. 21(7):1028-37 [PMID] 11850820.
View on: PubMed
2002
Tissue specificity of the Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus latent nuclear antigen (LANA/orf73) promoter in transgenic mice.
Journal of virology. 76(21):11024-32 [PMID] 12368345.
View on: PubMed
2002
Unforeseen consequences of IL-12 expression in the eye of GFAP-IL12 transgenic mice following herpes simplex virus type 1 infection.
DNA and cell biology. 21(5-6):467-73 [PMID] 12167250.
View on: PubMed
2000
Experimental models of growth factor-mediated angiogenesis and blood-retinal barrier breakdown.
General pharmacology. 35(5):233-9 [PMID] 11888678.
View on: PubMed
2000
Lens-specific VEGF-A expression induces angioblast migration and proliferation and stimulates angiogenic remodeling.
Developmental biology. 223(2):383-98 [PMID] 10882523.
View on: PubMed
1995
Regulation of mouse thymidylate synthase gene expression in growth-stimulated cells: upstream S phase control elements are indistinguishable from the essential promoter elements.
Nucleic acids research. 23(22):4649-56 [PMID] 8524656.
View on: PubMed
A drug-tunable gene therapy for broad-spectrum protection against retinal degeneration
. [DOI] 10.1101/283887.
AMP-activated-protein kinase (AMPK) is an essential sensor and metabolic regulator of retinal neurons and their integrated metabolism with RPE
. [DOI] 10.1101/2020.05.22.109165.

Grants

Sep 2021 ACTIVE
Transcriptional control of stress-induced resistance to retinal degeneration
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NEI
Mar 2021 ACTIVE
Retinal Degeneration Conference
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NEI
Sep 2020 ACTIVE
Regulators of retinal metabolism in healthy and degenerating retinas
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NEI
Sep 2016 – May 2020
Comparative transcriptomic and epigenomic analysis of Muller glia reprogramming
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: UNIV OF NOTRE DAME via NATL INST OF HLTH NEI
Jun 2016 – Jun 2019
Developing AAV vectors for drug-regulated expression of neuroprotective factors to induce broad spectrum protection of photoreceptors and RPE.
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: FOU FOR FIGHTING BLINDNESS
Feb 2014 – Jan 2018
Cytokine Regulation of Photoreceptor Gene Expression
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NEI
Jun 2013 – Jun 2016
Using AAV-STAT3 and AAV-PIM-1 vectors to induce broad-spectrum protection of photoreceptors and RPE
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: FOU FOR FIGHTING BLINDNESS
Aug 2011 – Jul 2016
Vision Research Core
Role: Project Manager
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NEI
May 2007 ACTIVE
Overstreet Retinal Eye Disease Research
Role: Project Manager
Funding: UF FOUNDATION

Teaching Profile

Teaching Philosophy
My training as a graduate student, postdoc, and in my early faculty career has been key to establishing my philosophy for graduate student education. I completed my Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1994 in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics and my mentor was Lee Johnson. Lee was a patient mentor and he encouraged students to be independent by allowing us to develop our own experimental designs. Students would make proposals for experimental plans to him which he would then help us refine. This allowed the student to develop their own curiosity and to develop critical thinking skills. He was careful to avoid micromanaging our projects. This is an important concept in my mentoring style. Graduate students need an engaged mentor who is willing to guide them without micromanaging them. I strongly believe that to develop mature critical thinking skills, graduate students must be allowed to think deeply about the problem and experimental questions and they should be given the opportunity to think of solutions and experimental designs on their own. Not only does this help cultivate critical thinking, but it also gives the student ownership of the project. I find that students who have a strong sense of ownership also have a strong work ethic and a stronger sense of accomplishment. Ethics are an important part of graduate education. Having a strong reputation and credibility in the larger academic community is critical to having a successful career. It takes only one poor decision to erase a lifetime of accomplishments. Therefore, I spend a significant amount of effort in teaching students about ethics in research. The basic kindergarten rules, no lying, cheating, or stealing apply, but more subtle rules must be followed. We frequently discuss the importance of integrity and clarity in our research design so that others can reproduce our work. I teach that it is important not to deceive ourselves with results that we want to see, and the best practice is to design experiments to disprove our hypothesis rather than prove it. As a mentor, it is essential to avoid putting pressure on a student to provide a particular experimental outcome. The best experimental outcome is a clear result, even if it disproves your favorite hypothesis. We also discuss how to avoid temptations to manipulate data analysis by realizing that it is important to let the data inform us about biology rather than letting our preconceived ideas shape the data. In regard to publishing, we discuss the importance of determining correct authorship, avoiding plagiarism, and giving credit to the work of others by using appropriate citations. I let students know that we each have one reputation and that it is important that we follow the best practices to protect that reputation at all times. In developing a training program for my students, I’ve tried to model the best attributes of the mentors I have worked under. I realize that every student comes in the door at a different starting point and with different strengths and weaknesses. When students leave my lab, I want them to have a strong sense of pride in what they have been able to accomplish in their Ph.D. program and to fully recognize that they are ready to accomplish even more at the next level of their training.
Courses Taught
2018
GMS7980 Research for Doctoral Dissertation
2013,2015-2017,2017
GMS6709 Current Topics in Vision
2021
GMS6622 Mitochondrial Biology in Aging and Disease

Contact Details

Phones:
Business:
(352) 273-8328
Emails:
Business:
jash@ufl.edu